I was an electrician's helper and worked in a plant in Texas. I was told to open a cabinet door and when I did I was electrocuted by high voltage because faulty wiring had electrified the steel door. I died for 7 minutes. Flat lined. CPR saved my life. I was revived in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. My employer has workman's comp insurance but I am told that I may not sue because workman's comp is provided. Can it be possible that a person can be injured so severely through NO fault of their own and there is NO recourse simply because the employer has workman's comp insurance?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Probably yes, if there is truly no other responsible party and no strong case of gross negligence. Texas highly favors employers carrying workers compensation insurance. But, because it is vary expensive, employers won't carry it unless you reward them for doing so and penalize them for not doing so. As a result, if an employer provides workers comp coverage and the employee does not opt out of it when he is employed, the employee cannot sue the employer unless there is gross negligence. Instead he is stuck collecting the workers comp benefits--as limited as they may be.
The only exceptions are: if there is gross negligence on the part of the employer or a third-party that is responsible. If the employer causes the injury by gross negligence, you can get around the workers comp bar. However, thanks to republican tort reform, you must prove gross negligence by a unanimous finding of clear and convincing evidence that the injury resulted from gross negligence. This is a very difficult standard and it is often hard to find a lawyer willing to front the expenses and money to try to get there knowing that the employer will get credit for benefits paid regardless.
The other exception scenario is where another party (third-party) causes the injury. This could be a property owner if you were on someone else's job site and they caused it; it could be the result of the conduct of another contractor on the site; or other third-party..possibly a product manufacturer.
Without knowing more about the case, it is impossible to know for sure whether there are other avenues to pursue. You should consult a lawyer to be certain.
You cannot sue your employer when it carries work comp insurance but you may be able to sue whoever was responsible for the "electrical" short ....if it was a different company..call if u wish